Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Category: Bransdale

  • St Nicholas’s church, Bransdale

    St Nicholas’s church, Bransdale

    Volunteering today with the National Trust in Bransdale. Delightfully, I took the opportunity to have a look around the quaint St Nicholas’s church, perched at the head of the dale. St Nicholas’s church may be squat but it stands proud, casting a discerning gaze down the valley below. Its Grade II listing records that it…

  • The Unstoppable Sheep—Going Places Without a Sheepdog!

    The Unstoppable Sheep—Going Places Without a Sheepdog!

    The sheep seem to know where they are going. No need for a sheepdog. He’s off on a jolly ride, perched on the back of the quad bike! I heard a comment today that the National Trust has been encouraging Bransdale tenant farmers to reduce their stocking levels. It’s certainly has made the meadows all…

  • Bluebells, Burrs, and the Oak Tree

    Bluebells, Burrs, and the Oak Tree

    A return to the enchanting Valley Garden in Bransdale; the woodland floor is adorned with a vibrant carpet of blooming bluebells beneath the shade of a magnificent oak tree. Its base boasts a remarkable feature—a large burr, a fascinating clue to the tree’s history and resilience. Burrs are a peculiar growth resembling warts, and can…

  • From an English woodland to a South American jungle

    From an English woodland to a South American jungle

    An annual task with the National Trust is at the Valley Gardens at Bransdale to tackle the invasive American Skunk Cabbage, which thrives in the damp areas of the valley floor. But this day was interrupted when a sudden hail storm arrived, making the already boggy ground even more challenging. On arrival is sunshine, we…

  • My Tree-mendous adventures on a dendrometric survey in Bransdale

    My Tree-mendous adventures on a dendrometric survey in Bransdale

    Sorry about the title, but it has been an enjoyable day conducting an ancient and veteran tree survey for the National Trust in Bransdale. Starting downstream from the mill along the Hodge Beck, it was a day exploring the little visited parts of the dale. But perhaps it would have been wiser to begin with…

  • A day with National Trust: replacing the fencing at Stork House

    A day with National Trust: replacing the fencing at Stork House

    I recall reading that the path that runs through Stocking Crag wood and passes Stork House was the original route in and out of the valley, though I’m unsure of the source. Unfortunately, due to landslides within the wood, it’s nearly impossible to navigate through it without using your own two feet. Today being Thursday,…

  • “Stone is a living thing, not a piece of dead matter”

    “Stone is a living thing, not a piece of dead matter”

    In the moorland dales, the quality and excellence of available building stones are the primary factors that have influenced building construction. The Jurassic rocks have been worked in numerous quarries in all the dales and provided an abundance of stone, which has been used to build abbeys, churches, mansions, bridges, buildings in Teesside’s towns, as…

  • Cockayne — Bransdale’s ‘centre’

    Cockayne — Bransdale’s ‘centre’

    Bransdale is a peaceful community consisting of dispersed farmsteads that has remained seemingly unaltered throughout history. At one time, Eastside and Westside were two separate townships, each belonging to different parishes. Nonetheless, they were combined in 1873 to establish Bransdale-cum-Farndale. Bransdale differs from typical communities in that it lacks a central village. However, Cockayne, a…

  • National Trust Landscapes: High and Low Lidmoor Farms

    National Trust Landscapes: High and Low Lidmoor Farms

    From near Stork House on Bransdale Westside, there is a stunning view of the lower dale with the twin farms of High and Low Lidmoor. Hodge Beck is graced with deciduous trees, while on the left side of the photo, on the high ground, stands a commercial conifer plantation. All the land in the photograph…

  • The Winter of 1947: How the R.A.F. Mountain Rescue Squadron Saved Bransdale from Isolation

    The Winter of 1947: How the R.A.F. Mountain Rescue Squadron Saved Bransdale from Isolation

    As we stepped out of the car in Bransdale this morning, the air was thick with dampness. The high moors that loomed in the distance were shrouded in a blanket of clouds, giving the dale a gloomy feel. Looking up Bransdale’s East Side, Spout House stands isolated on the right. Spout House gained national attention in…